SF 279 – Legalizing industrial hemp
SF 279 creates an industrial hemp commodity within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). The Department will oversee production, regulation and enforcement of industrial hemp, along with establishing fees and an appropriation. The department must conduct an annual inspection of crop sites to ensure hemp tests register less than 0.3 percent THC.
The 2018 federal farm bill removed industrial hemp from the national list of controlled substances and allows states to regulate industrial hemp production. Previously, the 2014 federal farm bill allowed the possession of industrial hemp in states that had applied to the United States Department of Agriculture to run a pilot program that would have allowed the state to regulate industrial hemp production.
The fees collected will depend on the number of acres planted. However, the bill specifies that a licensed grower can only grow a maximum of 40 acres. IDALS will collect these fees:
- $500 plus $5 per acre for a person growing five acres or fewer.
- $750 plus $5 per acre for a person growing more than five acres but fewer than 10 acres.
- $1,000 plus $5 per acre for a site that grows more than 10 acres.
- An inspection fee of not more than $1,000 can be charged by the DALS.
The bill appropriates $303,750 to IDALS for FY20 and $208,500 for FY21. The money will be deposited into the Hemp Fund. The funds will be used to pay for administrative costs and equipment to implement the Iowa Industrial Hemp Act. The bill specifies that IDALS can assess a civil penalty for disposing a licensee’s crop. The civil penalty will be between $500 and $2,500. Any funds collected from civil penalties will be deposited into the General Fund.
The bill was amended in committee to make a number of technical corrections. It also removes the appropriations language from the bill because funding for the program will be provided in the budget-making process.
[3/19: Short Form]
SF 321 – Investment tax credits
SF 321 is a departmental proposal that allows the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to allocate as much as $4 million for Investment Tax Credits, otherwise known as Angel Tax Credits. This is an increase of $2 million from current law. The bill allows IEDA to allocate at least $6 million and not more than $8 million for Innovation Fund Investment Tax Credits. This means IEDA can allocate as much as $2 million less for Innovation Tax Credits than under current law. These allocations must be determined on or before June 30 of each year. The bill keeps the overall cap on these types of credits at $10 million. The bill is effective upon enactment. These changes are estimated to cost $1.4 million in FY20 and $1.9 million in FY21 and after. The companion bill, HF 339 by Ways and Means, is on the House Calendar.
[3/19: Short Form]